Kittens, Classics, and Chocolate at City (Kitty) Hall

For two days in August, SF City Hall’s South Light Court became KITTY HALL, an elegant room filled with lovely baroque music, courtesy of impromptuSF, and the mewing of many, many kittens. SFACC held the adoption events conveniently during lunchtime, and Dandelion Chocolate (a neighbor of SFACC) provided sweet treats–for the humans, that is.

Folks came by to cuddle kittens, and quite a few petting sessions ended in adoptions. Thank you to all the volunteers and staff members who helped out on this fun adoption event!


SFACC Kitten Pop-Up Shop – Saturday 8/3 in Pacific Heights

SFACC’s kitten extravaganza continues with a Kitten Pop-Up Shop this Saturday 8/3, at the SF SPCA Pacific Heights Campus, 2343 Fillmore Street, SF. Adopt one for $50 and the second kitten is free. Two are better than one; they play with each other when you’re not home, and give you twice the love and purrs!

PLUS, adoption fees are waived for SFACC cats older than 5 months.

June is a lovely 2-year-old waiting for you to adopt her.

Check out all the kittens and cats up for adoption at SFACC HERE!

Is It Too Hot for Your Pet?

It only takes 10 minutes for temperatures inside a car to become dangerously hot, according to the Humane Society, which supported the Good Samaritan bill. On a 70-degree day, car temperatures can reach 89 degrees within 10 minutes. When it’s 72 degrees outside, it takes about an hour for car temperatures to reach 116 degrees.

If you see an animal in distress, call the SFACC dispatch line (415) 554-9400 or 911.

I see an animal in a hot car. What should I do?

  1. Note the make/model of the vehicle, license plate number and its specific location. Note a description and condition of the dog(s). Quickly use your smart phone or camera to film the situation, especially if any signs of distress are observed (see below). Also note the time and outside temperature if you have access to that information.
  2. Call the local animal control agency or police. If you don’t have the local numbers, call 911. Along with getting help, this will create a “record” of the event (311 can also route you to the best agency to help).
  3. Some locations, such as malls, amusement parks or casinos, will have on-site security that may be able to help take action sooner then first responders can arrive.
  4. Ask clerks at nearby stores/venues to make announcements using the vehicle’s make/model to locate the dog’s guardian.
  5. Return to the vehicle to monitor the dog’s condition and help responding authorities locate the vehicle.
  6. If you need to take immediate action to save the dog’s life and remove the animal from the car, make sure you’ve gathered as much evidence of the situation and dog’s condition as you can, including involving near-by witnesses. Remember this is a last resort if it looks like the animal won’t live until officers arrive – even if you save the animal, you might still be charged with a crime and face repercussions in the majority of states.

Signs that an animal is in heat-related distress:

Wide eyes
Fervent barking as if in distress
Intense scratching or digging at windows or doors trying to escape
Excessive panting with exaggerated long tongue
Extreme drooling, salivating
Change in color of the gums (blueish purple, bright red or pale from lack of oxygen)
Increased heart rate
Labored or trouble breathing
Disorientation, stumbling or poor coordination
Diarrhea or vomiting
Collapse or loss of consciousness
Respiratory arrest

How Hot Is Too Hot?

Think of your dog (or any pet) as a toddler… if you wouldn’t leave a four-year-old child unattended in a car–don’t leave your dog/pet!


SFACC and SFDPW Break Ground on New SFACC Shelter 

L to R: City Administrator Naomi Kelly, SFACC Executive Director Virginia Donohue,
Mayor London Breed, Former SF Supervisor Katy Tang,
and SF Dept. of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru

By Joanne Ladolcetta
May 15, 2019

This morning was the groundbreaking ceremony for San Francisco Animal Care & Control’s new animal shelter. It was a good turnout, despite the rain. We huddled under a tent to listen to various speakers including Mayor London Breed (wearing fabulous boots), former SF Supervisor Katy Tang, who advocated tirelessly for the new shelter, Executive Director of SFACC, Virginia Donahue, City Administrator Naomi Kelly, and SFDPW Director Mohammed Nuru. There were a couple of adorable and adoptable animal ambassadors also in attendance.

On average, 10,000 animals come through the doors of San Francisco Animal Care & Control (SFACC) every year. Unlike more targeted rescue organizations, they take on animals of every kind. We’re talking goats, chinchillas, reptiles, birds, fish.

SFACC’s current shelter was put together in 1989 during a six-month period when the SF SPCA gave up its animal control contract with the city. Enclosures don’t meet industry standards. There’s not enough room for animals to get adequate exercise and socialization. There isn’t a proper system in place for disease quarantine. The building is not seismically safe. This was not designed to be a lasting solution.

The new shelter will be at 1419 Bryant Street in a building that most recently housed MUNI’s overhead lines repair shop. The exterior has to stay, because it’s a historic building, but the inside will be transformed into a state-of-the-art animal shelter nearly double the size of the current facility. There will be more play space (9,000 square feet of yard), better facilities for veterinarian and dental care, public spaces for classes and workshops and sweet sweet air conditioning.

I hadn’t realized that along with adoptions and being the place to go when looking for a lost pet, SFACC also provides disaster and emergency response. SFACC sent a team to Paradise for close to a month after the deadly and destructive wildfire, because 800 animals were displaced and needed care.

SFACC is also responsible for local wildlife rescue. When a raccoon gets stuck in PG&E equipment, who do you call? SFACC. They are the ones who will, “oil him up and pop him out.” I got the feeling that this happens more frequently than you’d think!

The city of San Francisco is investing over $70 million in the new shelter. SFACC’s dedicated nonprofit, Friends of San Francisco Animal Care & Control, needs to raise $4.3 million more to help make the new facility a welcoming place for animals and their pet guardians, and to sustain critical shelter programs that are not funded by the city budget. To find out more about how you can become involved in the shelter campaign, email

Photos courtesy of Joanne Ladolcetta and SFDPW…

San Francisco Animal Care and Control Announces Groundbreaking of New Shelter

Historic renovation blends modern technology and smart architecture to support the City’s first animal emergency responder. See how the new facility will improve the lives of animals and their guardians, and the SFACC staff in this VIDEO produced by DPW.

On May 15 at 11:00 AM, San Francisco Animal Care & Control (SFACC) broke ground on a new state-of-the-art animal shelter at 1419 Bryant Street. Mayor London Breed, City Administrator Naomi Kelly, former S.F. Supervisor Katy Tang, The Friends of Animal Care & Control, The Dept. of Public Works, Clark Construction, and the Department of Animal Care & Control staff, volunteers and animals gathered to celebrate this historic occasion. The new facility will enable SFACC to fulfill its responsibilities as San Francisco’s first responder for all domestic and wildlife animal emergencies, as well as better serve the City’s growing population of lost, abandoned, sick, injured, abused, and surrendered animals. The event was open to the public and about 200 attendees were sheltered from a light rain to hear remarks from city dignitaries and show support.

The 65,000 square-foot project–a collaboration between SFACC, the San Francisco Department of Public Works, and the San Francisco Office of the City Administrator–is scheduled to open in 2021, and is designed to provide safe, sanitary, and humane conditions in line with best practice animal health and welfare standards. Improvements over the current building include specially engineered ventilation schemes, room finishes, noise reduction strategies, and cleaning systems to mitigate disease paths, control noise and odors, facilitate sanitation, and improve the welfare and adoptability of all animal occupants. The project will allow SFACC to continue emergency operations after a major earthquake, even if power and water are temporarily interrupted. With nearly double the square footage of the current building, the new shelter will include a modernized veterinary suite, expanded play and training areas for all animals, and new education spaces to serve the public, animal care staff, and the many volunteers who log over 27,000 hours at SFACC every year. 

“We are thrilled to take this next step in our journey.” says SFACC Executive Director Virginia Donohue, who hosted the groundbreaking ceremony. “The new building will allow Animal Care and Control to advance our mission to care for and protect San Francisco’s animals and support the people who love them. We are extremely grateful for the City’s commitment to building a sustainable future for all of San Francisco’s animals.”

The new facility replaces SFACC’s existing home at 1200 15th Street, where the agency has been for nearly 30 years. The 15th Street location was constructed as a warehouse in 1931 and repurposed as the municipal animal shelter in 1989. The renovated facility on Bryant Street similarly will carry a historic legacy—this time of an 1893 San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency power station originally used to store vehicles and overhead lines.

SFACC’s groundbreaking ceremony marks the 30th anniversary of SFACC and the unveiling of a new agency logo and messaging: “Open doors. Open arms.” The new branding underscores SFACC’s open-admissions policy of accepting all domestic and wild animals regardless of species, age, medical, or behavioral condition. By contrast, “limited-admission” shelters and nonprofits select which animals they accept and how many.

While the City is funding the majority of the cost for the new facility, SFACC is also seeking financial support from the community through its nonprofit board, Friends of SF Animal Care & Control. For those interested in being a benefactor and demonstrating commitment to this historic renovation, opportunities to name rooms and areas of the building are available through tax-deductible donations.

About San Francisco Animal Care & Control

San Francisco Animal Care & Control (SFACC) is a taxpayer-funded, open-admission animal shelter. Since 1989, SFACC has provided housing, care, and medical treatment to wild, exotic, domestic, stray, lost, abandoned, sick, injured, and surrendered animals. SFACC’s doors are open to all animals in need regardless of species, medical condition, or behavior. To learn more, or call (415) 554-6364.

About Friends of San Francisco Animal Care & Control

Friends of San Francisco Animal Care & Control (Friends of SFACC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit all-volunteer organization founded in 2000. Friends of SFACC is the only organization dedicated to raising funds for the City’s municipal, open-admission animal shelter and its rescue partners to enhance or establish programs and services that benefit animals and serve and educate the public. To learn more about how you can become involved in the mission of Friends of SFACC email To support the campaign, email